Experience Music Project

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Rie Rite on November 20, 2006

While visiting friends in Port Orchard, Washington, my boyfriend and I decided to make a day trip by ferry to the dank city of Seattle to see the Experience Music Project.

The EMP, in short, looks like an architectural joke, or perhaps six artists who couldn’t decide on a central theme for the building. But its chaotic nature seems to conjoin nicely with the musical theme, after all, isn’t chaotic music more interesting?

Inside was a detailed explanation of the evolution of rap and hip hop. It defined both forms of music, which have become synonymous over time. Rap: a rapid form of lyrical speech. Hip Hop: a combination of musical forms including rap, scratching, percussion, etc. There were voyeuristic photographs of people, such as the late '70s rap group Fantastic 5, practicing their dance moves and poses in their living room before a live performance.

One of the largest displays is for local boy hero Jimi Hendrix. There are video displays accompanied by audio and reading material that allow visitors to thoroughly enjoy the psychedelic nature of the Jimi Hendrix experience.

There was also an exhibit on the evolution of guitars, as well as the guitar Eric Clapton had played to perform “Layla” with on the Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs album.
The EMP also had a great costume display with outfits from Sonny and Cher, members of B-Unit, Elton John, Michael Jackson and dozens of others.

The interactive sections of the EMP are also worth a look. But don't count on their studios to produce high quality recordings.

Crushed penny collectors will also take notice that the EMP has a variety of designs to be imprinted on their copper coins.
EMP Museum at Seattle Center
325 Fifth Ave North
Seattle, Washington, 98109
(206) 770-2700


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